Westfield High School senior Julia Gabennesch has always enjoyed oatmeal and cooking.
“I feel like oatmeal is so versatile. It’s just so easy to come up with new flavors, and I feel like it’s fun to do, also,” she said. “There are so many different things I can do with it. It’s fascinating.”
Gabennesch, 17, started creating oatmeal bowls last year and started taking pictures when COVID-19 lockdowns began in mid-March.
“I felt like I had so much time on my hands and I started making my bowls a little more elaborate,” Gabennesch said.
Gabennesch, whose favorite subject is math and is considering majoring in chemical engineering in college, has a busy school schedule. She is a member of the cross country team, secretary of National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society and Dance Marathon Club. She also plays tennis for the Shamrocks in the spring.
“With school, I don’t have that much free time on my hand to be cooking,” she said. “I feel oatmeal is overly easy to do and I feel it’s one I can do every day. I share them with my mom, especially. She really likes them.”
Gabennesch also shares the oatmeal bowls with her cross country team and friends in her carpool.
Her Pumpkin Spice Latte bowl is her favorite fall creation so far.
“I cook the oatmeal in the coffee and add some maple syrup and spices,” she said. “I thought it turned out really good.”
Other creations include blueberry and plum, baked cherry and nectarine, Almond Joy inspired, char pear, apple cinnamon and vanilla almond latte. She posts her photos on her Instagram account, @only.oatmeal.
Gabennesch’s Pumpkin Spice Latte Oatmeal
– 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
– 1 cup coffee
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– dash of salt
– cinnamon to taste
– pumpkin spice to taste
– 1-2 tbsp maple syrup
– 1/4 cup pumpkin purée
Bring the coffee to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Stir in the oats. Add in cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, salt, vanilla extract, pumpkin purée and maple syrup. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Add desired toppings and enjoy.
The bowl is topped with pumpkin purée, banana slices, pumpkin flavored cream cheese and mixed nut butter.